I got my temporary lower bridge last week. It is a strange feeling to have something foreign in my mouth. Despite having had all kinds of weird apparatuses (I really feel like the plural of apparatus should be apparati, but apparently it’s not) in my younger days, I can’t say I welcomed the introduction of this piece.
These past few days have been filled with anxiety. First, I wondered why I thought it was a good idea to even get a temporary, when I could have just kept wearing my slightly broken lower bridge until we decided what to do. Because we still haven’t decided whether to fix the existing one or make a whole new one.
If you’ve ever had braces, or any kind of dental device, you know it takes some getting used to. This one is pretty snug, but there are a few points that seem to be pressing against my gums unpleasantly. One edge is rubbing at the crease where my lip meets my gum, causing a sore. Of course it’s the weekend so I can’t just go in and have him sand down that piece. When I try to eat with it, there’s this unpleasant squishing feeling as it mushes against my gums with every bite.
It’s bringing back memories of my younger days when I had to wear these kinds of things all the time. The mild taste of acrylic, the dull ache of pressure when I first put it in. The nagging sores where the edges rub. I must have much less patience now, because it’s all I can do to keep it in my mouth the whole day.
I know that if I can just bear through these first few days I will get used to it, as I have gotten used to all the other dental situations in my life. And I try to remember poor George Washington with his uncomfortable dentures, and realize that I am lucky to live in this day and age where my dentist isn’t cobbling together some mix of animal and human teeth for me to wear.
Another point of anxiety is wondering if I can get my insurance to cover any of this. My dental insurance maxes out at $1500. Which is nice if all you need is one crown, right?
In other news, I started listening to this audiobook:
Ever since I was a very wee lass, I have been terrified of internal organs. It’s a running joke in my family that I can’t even look at an animal heart, much less a human heart, or any other part for that matter. I have had nightmares about being in an operating room and needing to perform surgery on someone or being forced to participate in an autopsy (as the person wielding the knife, not the person on the table).
My fear has lessened as I’ve gotten older, probably thanks to gratuitous violence and gore on TV and in movies. But I am still pretty creeped out at the thought of body parts or of dead bodies. I suppose a great deal of this fear has to do with simply confronting my own mortality. I also suspect there’s a part of it that hearkens back to my earliest days in the hospital and in surgery and that feeling of a loss of control and surrender to the doctors and hospital staff.
So anyway, I’d had my eye on this book for a while and finally got to it. I’m only about three chapters in but so far it is morbidly fascinating and I have not yet had to stop in horror. Perhaps this will help me overcome my fears a little more.
4 thoughts on “Temporary Discomfort”
Firstly, I am sorry you have to deal with a new apparatus. I have had TONS of apparati (it really, really should be apparati!) in my life and as I read your description of how they feel, my memories quickly, unfortunately came flooding back to me. I remember the first week or two being just about unbearable. I would be unable to focus on anything, sleep, eat, or function at all with a foreign thing in my mouth. But, as you said, I would eventually get used to it. I am crossing my fingers, toes and eyes that you acclimate to it as fast as possible so that your discomfort is lessened. I too thank ungodly amounts of gore in the media nowadays for my desensitization. I used to be very easily disgusted and could only take so much, but now I can go a quite a bit longer until I ultimately still cover my face with a blanket. I am wishing you all the best!
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Thanks! A week and several adjustments later and I think I am pretty well used to it now. Though I do look forward to getting the permanent piece back in.
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